Every day, 91 Americans die and hundreds more are injured from gun violence. Can public safety laws both respect the Second Amendment and help reduce gun crime and save lives?
The Second Amendment to the Constitution reads, "A well-regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed."
Gun safety advocates believe that you can support the Second Amendment while closing loopholes in the laws to make sure that violent criminals, domestic abusers, people on the terror watch list, and other dangerous people can't easily access guns. Gun rights advocates typically argue for loosening gun laws and making it easier for people to carry guns in public, including in places like bars and college campuses, no permit or safety training required.
America has a gun homicide rate 25 times higher than that of other developed countries (not a good record to hold). Mass shootings captivate the national attention and prompt repeated calls for change, but the government rarely acts, even though the majority of American voters do agree on certain measures, including comprehensive background checks.
Media coverage makes it seem like mass shootings make up the majority of gun violence in America. In fact, mass shooting victims actually make up only one percent of gun murder victims in America. And 57% of mass shootings are actually incidents of domestic or family violence.
Nine out of 10 Americans support background checks for all gun sales, and states that already require background checks for all handgun sales have 46% fewer women shot to death by intimate partners, 48% fewer gun suicides, and 48% less gun trafficking.
Every month, 51 women are shot to death by a current or former intimate partner, and the presence of a gun in a domestic violence situation makes it five times more likely a woman will be murdered. Certain domestic abusers are prohibited from having guns, but because of a loophole in the law it's legal for abusive dating partners to buy guns—even though more U.S. women are killed by boyfriends than by husbands.